Esquilino— Rome


Hidden in the heart of the city, Rome’s most multicultural neighbourhood is attracting creatives to its vibrant and intrigue-laden streets.

Property, Rome, Architecture, multiculturalism, neighbourhood

The Esquilino neighbourhood is a bit of an island. Although it is located in the centre of Rome – walking distance from the Colosseum and south of Roma Termini railway station – the multi-ethnic neighbourhood has managed to remain something of a secret. Fashion designer Sergio Zambon, who has lived here for 15 years, describes Esquilino’s vibe as “New York’s West Village with a touch of Alphabet City”. Here Bangladesh and Chinese immigrants live alongside a growing African and Middle Eastern community, as well as international artists, writers,…

The process

Foreigners buying property in Rome must ask for the historic record of the house from the agent and also from the notary of the client. Details about when the roof or electric was fixed or if it needs a renovation are not required by law.

New property laws require the apartment layout to agree with the records on file. Often changes are not registered with with the city and if not, it invalidates the buying contract and the buyer will be fined and have to pay for the plans to be changed (typically €1,000 fine and €1,500 for lawyers to complete paperwork).

Notary fees: 3 per cent
Agent’s fee: 6 per cent
Estate agent: L’Agenzia Immobiliare di Gabriella Giampietro
+ 39 06 704 54772


Annalisa Bellettati
39, architect
“My favourite place in Esquilino is the spice market. I’m addicted to Indian food and here you can find everything. In my building there are Iranians working for the UN and old Italian families who moved here when the building was first built in the 1930s.”

Elly Nagaoka
41, artist
“The neighbourhood has cleaned up a lot since I moved here 15 years ago. It’s a good location and close to the station – it takes five minutes to get to the airport. Italy is so provincial from a food point of view but it’s the one part of Rome to get international food.”

Sergio Zambon
44, fashion designer
“Esquilino is the first real big city area of Rome. It’s close to the station so it feels very central. It’s central but still hidden, with a mix of Italian bourgeois, ethnic and cosmopolitan.”

Paolo Tamburella
36, artist
“I moved here three years ago from Brooklyn. Esquilino is not like [the rest of] Rome; it attracts artists and filmmakers and is the only area with a mix of other cultures. It’s less expensive than New York but still expensive for Rome.”

Ilaria Freccia
50, filmmaker
“I moved here 10 years ago from New York. I moved here to find a place with no such specific identity. It’s a fascist neighbourhood combined with Chinese mafia, the art world and the next generation of filmmakers. It’s not just a beautiful neighbourhood; it’s also a tough neighbourhood.”


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